First Knife - Shiro Kamo? KU Fading? Aogami 2 or super

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OP here, I've just realised the Shiro Kamo KU is stainless clad and not iron, Is that a good or bad thing, does that mean the KU finish will be tougher? I believe it will change the feel of the knife? Am i getting too deep into this considering its my first knife? I just want to get it right, i know its a bugdet knife to you guys but its still 150€ for a knife that I dont actually need, i just want one!


Stainless clad is a good entry into the world of carbon knives, just because you have less reactive surface area to worry about. The KU on mine still looks exactly the same as when I bought it some three years ago, so yes, I'd say it's quite durable. As I mentioned earlier, just make sure that the profile is right for you.

OP here, so i went and saw the SK gyuto in question, granted it was the iron clad aogami 2 version and not the AS
i was in Munich on a break with friends and went to Dictum but i messed up the trains and only had a few minutes as they were closing
which is really really annoying, I live in Dublin and there are zero japanese knives in shops to see and handle and i dont know anyone who owns japanese knives that i can try or look at so i really messed the only opportunity i had!

anyway i got my hands on the 210 shiro gyuto and was very much underwhelmed, it felt flimsy and i didnt like how the KU felt in my grip
I was thinking it would be love at first touch but not at all, i suppose the fact that ive never held a J knife its no surprise that it didnt feel perfect, and i have nothing to compare it to, i only held a couple more knives briefly, i dont even know what they were and wasnt bothering the staff as they were closing

i dont know where to go with this now, do i just buy it and have a proper go and see if theres a spark, i assume with the amount of newbies here (myself included) that selling on a well respected entry level knife would be no problem, i might opt for a non KU finish as it did nothing for me in real life despite loving the raw / authentic look of it, a fellow dublin dweller i messaged about where he buys was leaning at the SS also as many have here on this thread and suggested R2 but im concerned about sharpeing as i'm a learner with a SP 1000 and nothing else (on purpose) he suggested a takaura r2 (dont like the handle) or a shibata kotesku (which is sexy as hell!) they are over my initial budget but the Shibata seems another class so i could stretch, or do i just buy the cheapest AS out there and dip my toes in case its jsut not for me, i do feel that i need some time with a J knife in hand before i can decide if there are for me, on the same side i dont want to get a heftier knife as i have plenty of them and defeats the idea of getting into J knives, i know the general concencus is that you have to try allsorts to land on whats right for you but i never had any intention of dropping loads of money on this, i had visions of plugging away joyously happily with my J knife and my SP1000 for months as i learn to sharpen while laser cutting everything in sight!

a last point on this epic waffling... the 210 did seem a bit short in hand which is interesting as my mainstay is only 180, there a lot of truth in the advice people gave me on a thread i started called "blade lenghts" where i was concerned about a 210 being too long, as people were saying, there are many factors to blade feel and one 270 might feel more nimble than another 180! goes to show you!

decisions decisions! (anyone want to loan me their entire collection for a few months while i work this out! lol)

Handling can make all the difference. You know you better than any of us but I suspect if you were let down by the Shiro in person it won't get better when you spend money on it. Not as a first knife anyway.

That said, if you thought it felt flimsy, just know that Takamura and Shibata are quite thin.
Yeah Takamura is basically peak flimsy in feel. If you're underwhelmed by a knife the first time I wouldn't count on your impression changing a second time - though it can happen.
Any idea why it felt flimsy? Too light? Balance in the wrong place? Handle too small?